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It is the policy of Texas A&M University to comply with United States export control laws and regulations including, without limitation, those implemented by the Department of Commerce through its Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Department of State through its International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), as well as those imposed by the Treasury Department through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Encouraging research and intellectual inquiry is a vital goal of Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University supports open research and the free interchange of information among scholars. The University also recognizes that the United States has enacted laws and regulations restricting the transmission of Controlled Information and Controlled Physical Items for the purpose of protecting national, economic, security, and foreign policy interests. These federal export control laws and regulations establish the conditions under which Controlled Information and Controlled Physical Items can be transmitted to anyone outside the United States and to foreign persons in the United States. In addition, the export control laws and regulations restrict or prohibit the transaction of business with certain countries, persons and entities that have been sanctioned by federal agencies as a threat to important U.S. interests. 

It is important to keep in mind that export control laws are broad and have implications for a host of University operations. Export control restrictions are based upon: specific commodities, technologies, and services; end-users; and governments. Thus, export controls may apply to a wide range of University activities including: research and innovation; international programs, agreements, exchanges, and travel; procurement; information technology and services; human resources; and shipping.

Additionally, export control restrictions apply to the Release of Controlled Information and data, technologies, and commodities to foreign persons located within the United States.

The Export Control Compliance Program Manual is designed to assist Texas A&M faculty, staff, and students with export control compliance. It serves as the University’s guiding framework to assure university compliance with federal export control laws and regulations. 

 

Biological Agents Overview

Both the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) have provisions for the control of pathogens and toxins. The control level is different depending on which regulations control the item.

 

Overview of ITAR controlled pathogens and toxins

Unlike EAR controlled pathogens and toxins, foreign nationals on campus may not access ITAR controlled biological agents/substances (see Category XIV of the United States Munitions List [USML]) without a license. ITAR controlled biological agents/substances will also require a license for export outside the U.S. If there is a pathogen that appears on both the ITAR and the EAR, ITAR controls govern the item.

 

Overview of EAR controlled pathogens and toxins

Inside the United States, any person, including foreign nationals may purchase and use EAR export controlled pathogens and toxins for fundamental research. However, the "deemed" export rule applies to technical information about the controlled item. For example, if a principal investigator (PI) receives confidential, proprietary, non-public domain, non-fundamental research or other export controlled information, about the development or production of an EAR controlled biological, then the PI may need a "deemed" export license to provide such information to a foreign national on campus. Please note that equipment used for the development or production of controlled biological agents in non-standard conditions, developing equipment for producing controlled biological agents, and, or the use of biological equipment may be considered a deemed export.

In addition, if a PI wishes to ship an EAR controlled pathogen, toxin, or equipment capable of producing a pathogen or toxin, outside the U.S. the PI must apply for the appropriate export license before shipment.

 

Possible Violations

Each University employee has the responsibility to report possible violations of United States export control laws or regulations. Suspected violations should be reported to the vice president for research, together with the details of the suspected violation. Suspected violations may also be reported via the ethics and compliance hotline at http://sao.fraud.state.tx.us.

 

Training

BASIC TRAINING

The basic course for export controls and embargo training (course number 2111212) is available through TrainTraq. Depending on the nature of an individual’s activities and/or job functions, a university employee may be required to take supplemental export control training as deemed appropriate by the individual’s supervisor and/or the empowered official.

 

TRAINING UPDATE 2012

It is the policy of Texas A&M University to comply with United States export control laws and regulations while maintaining an open research environment that welcomes the participation of researchers from around the world.

All university employees should view export control compliance as an important part of their day-to-day responsibilities. Export control laws regulate the conditions under which certain information, technologies, and commodities can be transmitted to foreign persons or entities in the United States or abroad. In addition, export control laws and regulations restrict or prohibit the transaction of business with certain countries, persons, and entities that have been sanctioned by federal agencies as a threat to important U.S. interests. Most exports do not require specific approval from the federal government. Certain exports, however, require a license. Others are prohibited.

In accordance with University Rule 15.02.99.M1 Export Controls and System Policy 15.03 Export Controls, university employees with managerial or supervisory authority over foreign persons or projects involving controlled information or controlled physical items are required to take the basic export control online training course at least once every two years.

In March 2012, an export control working group was organized to consider export control issues of concern, ensure coordination of compliance efforts, and assist each other on developing enhancements to existing processes and procedures and to share training resources and best practices.  As part of its charge, the working group developed training recommendations to facilitate the automated assignment of mandatory export control training for certain classes of university employees via TrainTraq. The proposed mandatory assignments were discussed with and approved by the affected groups—many of which had already begun implementing mandatory training within their organizations in compliance with the university rule.

Beginning August 31, 2012, automated TrainTraq training assignments for basic export control training were made for the following classes of employees:

  • All employees of Texas A&M University at Qatar, excluding local hires;
  • All employees of the Division of Research, excluding research animal technicians/caretakers;
  • All employees of the International Ocean Discovery Program;
  • All employees of the supercomputing facility;
  • All full-time employees of the Study Abroad Programs Office; and
  • All employees of International Faculty and Scholar Services

 

TrainTraq assignments were made for:

  • All employees identified on proposed technology control plans processed through the University’s export control office; and
  • Supervisors submitting requests to hire foreign nationals through International Faculty and Scholar Services

 

Questions about export control training or export controls should be directed to the program at exportcontrols@tamu.edu or 979.862.6419.

 

Export Control Resources

Governance Documents:

  • The Texas A&M University System Policy 15.02 - Export Controls (PDF)
  • Texas A&M University Rule 15.02.99.M1 Export Controls (PDF)
  • Compliance Program Manual (PDF)

  

Guidance Documents:

 

Forms:

 

Qatar Campus specific:

  • SAP 15.02.99.M0.0, Technology Control Guidelines  (PDF)
  • SAP 15.02.99.M1.01, Export Control Screening of Personnel Actions and Request for Authorization for Visiting Scholars (PDF)

 

Federal Resources

Federal export controls are accomplished primarily through the Export Administration Regulations (EAR, implemented by the Department of Commerce for items that have both a commercial and potential military use) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR, implemented by the Department of State for military items and defense services). The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions to protect foreign policy and national security goals.

The export control regulations most frequently encountered by the University research community are the following:

  • Export.gov
  • U.S. Department of State (Directorate of Defense Trade Controls)
    • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) governs "defense articles and services" (items and information specifically designed or adapted for military use).
  • U.S. Department of Commerce (Bureau of Industry and Security)
    • Export Administration Regulations (EAR) governs dual use items and information predominately civilian in character by having military applications.
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury (Office of Foreign Assets Control)
    • Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulations (OFAC) administers and enforces trade embargoes and economic sanctions

 

Additional Resources